Sport education as a curriculum model for boys’ personal and social development

I'm a fan of the Sport Education curriculum model. I was introduced to it via the Sport Education in Physical Education Program mapped to the mid-1990's version of the Australian Curriculum for HPE by Ken Alexander and the SPARK team at Edith Cowan University. 'Back in the day' when it was funded and available, I used to get the local football development officer into my program at Year 9 to run the AFL Sport Education program. The Sport Education curriculum model informed the the Sport Literacy framework for physical education that I modelled in my PhD [see here if you would like to read more] and that is now landing of the K- Year 10 Play with Purpose for games and sport teaching in PE resources that I have put together [the Year 5-Year 10 resource is available here and the K-Year 4 resource is available here].

I've done a few research projects involving the Sport Education model since moving from school PE teaching to university pre-service PE teacher and sport educator teaching. One of the more interesting projects grew out of a Sport Education program introduction in a primary school project that I was working on with the school PE teacher. As an outcome of conversations with the school deputy principal, the PE teacher and myself, the PE teacher developed a program focused on boys personal and social development using the tenets of the Sport Education model. Specifically, the Deputy Principal was concerned with some of the social interactions occurring at recess and lunch between some of the older and younger boys, which were leading to referrals to the time-out room at recess and lunch. The PE teacher and I were able to convince the Deputy that through sport, we could do something about the behavioural problem. Sport was to be the 'vehicle' for a program of learning focused on two components of what were described at the time as Essential Learnings: interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. Boys from Year 2-Year 5 were vertically grouped and released from class with the class teacher for one 45 minute lesson per week for 8 weeks / 8 lessons for a 'boys education' lesson with the PE teacher. The feedback from the Deputy after the first year of the program was that recess and lunch time teacher referrals of boys to the Deputy for time-out had substantially decreased from the previous year.

This sport based personal and social education program was part of my early 'playing around' more purposefully with the idea of education through sport, which led me into proposing the idea of sport literacy using multi-literacy theory and the Arnoldian philosophy of education in, through and about movement for my PhD. I have blogged previously about the Sport Literacy idea here so I won't go into any detail about it in this blog. If you are interested in learning more about the Sport Education Boys Education project, an outline of the reasons for the program, the 8 lessons, and the findings of the first year of the program are available here in a paper the teacher and I presented and then was published at the 2009 ACHPER International Conference


  1. We are just about to write a chapter in a new text of Social and Emotional Learning in physical education that describes specifically how Sport Education structures and features can be used to promote this aspect of schooling. Any ideas from teachers of successes would be most welcome.
    Peter Hastie

  2. Youngsters are presented to an assortment of brandishing games and exercises which incorporate tossing/getting strategies, T-ball, yoga, soccer, parachute play, and figuring out how to utilize an assortment of sporting gear in an intentional way. Kids figure out how to value the advantages of being genuinely dynamic and find their own common athletic capacity.


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